Principles of industrial troubleshooting

Innovative technologies have been taking over the world, from robotics to the 3D printing revolution. However, one thing that has been left behind is industrial troubleshooting. Industrial troubleshooters must be able to work in a multitude of settings and be able to identify potential problems while preventing them from turning into more significant disasters. This infographic outlines the primary troubleshooting principles so you can develop these skills for yourself or your team members.

Primary principles of industrial troubleshooting

  1. Notice the problem

The first step in most industrial troubleshooting is to notice the problem. Once you have observed the problem, you need to know what questions to ask and gather as much information about the issue as possible.  

  1. Gain information

Once you notice the problem, you should gather as much information about it as possible while asking questions and clearly communicating with others onsite or at a remote location. Be sure to document everything you learn. This includes:

When: Where: Who: What: How: What tests and measurements should be performed (e. g., pressure, temperature, airflow)

  1. Record findings

Once you have gathered all of the information about the problem, record your findings to refer to them later. It is crucial to get an accurate sense of what is happening to determine what needs to be done. Making assumptions can be costly. Document your observations thoroughly so that they are easy for everyone to understand. You may also want to consider taking pictures or recording videos at this stage of the process in case anything gets damaged or destroyed during further investigation.

  1. Uncover additional problems

You may discover additional problems after completing steps 1–3 above. Do not move on to solutions before identifying and recording all issues encountered.

  1. Propose solutions

Once you have considered the problem from every angle, think of possible solutions to the problem. Consider both short-term and long-term fixes, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. As you record the information, be sure that it is easy for anyone to understand your proposed solution. Be sure that your solution addresses all your findings.

  1. Select appropriate solution(s)

Choose one or more of the most appropriate solutions to fix the problem(s). Be sure to list your reasons for choosing a particular solution. 

  1. Make a plan of action

Once you have evaluated the solutions, decide how to implement them by creating an action plan. The plan should include:

  • What will be done?
  • When will it be done?
  • Who is needed to do it?
  • How results will be measured and communicated.
  1. Implement solution(s)

Implement your chosen solution(s).

  1. Evaluate the results

After the solution has been implemented, evaluate its effectiveness and how it will be measured and communicated to others.

Reasons to carry out troubleshooting.

There are many reasons to carry out industrial troubleshooting. 

  1. Reliability

Reliability is an important reason why troubleshooting must be carried out. If there is a fault with machinery, it could lead to loss of revenue for an organization, or worse, it could result in a severe accident that could prove fatal to personnel or cause significant damage to property due to a fire, explosion, or material spillage. Therefore, troubleshooting increases reliability as it keeps machinery working correctly and safe throughout all operating stages of its life cycle.

  1. Cost of downtime

This is the most apparent reason why troubleshooting is carried out. Costs associated with production downtime can be tons of money. If there’s a problem with machinery, it needs to be rectified as soon as possible for the equipment to start working again and the company to avoid potential losses.

  1. Safety issues

Another major reason troubleshooting is vital in industrial environments is that poor maintenance can lead to accidents or severe damage resulting in severe injuries. For example, if electricity is not appropriately shut off when servicing a machine, it could pose a threat to the staff involved. Therefore, troubleshooting helps to ensure the safety of all people involved.

  1. Responsive maintenance

Troubleshooting also helps to ensure a quick response to maintenance issues. All equipment should be maintained appropriately to work correctly and efficiently while being safe for continued use. Troubleshooting helps ensure that the proper maintenance is carried out at the right time by inspecting equipment, systems, and components when problems or potential problems are observed.

  1. Preventive maintenance

Lastly, troubleshooting helps to ensure that proper preventive maintenance is carried out at the right time. Proper maintenance of equipment is vital for reliability. If it’s not maintained correctly, machinery can break down, causing production to halt and expenses to rise due to downtime. Troubleshooting can also help determine whether preventative maintenance has been carried out correctly.


Industrial troubleshooting is a vital part of maintaining safe environments and long-lasting machinery. To stay ahead of the competition, it is crucial to maintain machinery in tip-top condition. By following regular maintenance schedules, machines can be kept working efficiently and flawlessly.

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